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Arts & Culture

Goddess Venus is having a plastic surgery.

He criticizes social media but cannot do without it. He’s interested in classical arts but also follows fashion. He’s straightforward about what he feels. With his eclectic taste and inner conflicts, Ege İşlekel is a true Y-generation artist. In addition to being an interior designer, he works with a series of collages which has become a hot topic on Instagram. We’ve been following his works for a while; if you don’t know him yet, now is the time.

Something to Tell You from California Sun: Haim

Haim is a band of three sisters - Este Haim, Alana Haim, ve Danielle Haim -born and raised in the rural area of San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. Having played in a pop-rock band called Valli Girls in adolescent years, the oldest and middle sister started their own music project thinking “No one can understand us like we do.” Meanwhile, the youngest sister, Danielle, toured with Jenny Lewis. During the tour, Danielle managed to get Julian Casablancas’ attention who were there to listen to Lewis. Danielle began to accompany the young gentlemen from The Strokes in his solo performance. Having experienced the music industry from the doorstep, Danielle listened to Calablancas’ advice “to write stronger songs and focus on recording,” and returned to her sisters. This would be the beginning of Haim.

Write, Act, Direct: TOY İstanbul

It’d be an underestimation to define TOY Istanbul as a “theater.” It’s an organization that welcomes independent theater groups, hosts acting and screenwriting workshops, and stages its own productions. In short, it’s a place that should be visited by all those who cross paths with theater. Borrowing the first letters of “theater, acting and writing” in Turkish, TOY Istanbul has already finished its first season with 32 plays. To represent its three-letter name, we met three wonderful people from the company before the new season begins.

Everyday Archeologists: Slavs and Tatars

An art collective that dedicates itself to polemics and interactions in the Eurasian landscape “between the east of the Berlin Wall and the west of the Great Wall of China,” Slavs and Tatars believes in the power of humor and adopts George Orwell’s saying “Every joke is a tiny revolution.” Started as a reading group, the collective publishes books, prepares exhibitions and displays presentations and performances on this landscape for the last decade. Visiting Istanbul after Warsaw and Tehran, the exhibition “Mouth to Mouth” comprises works in these three forms is open at Salt Galata. Offering an extensive selection of the collective’s portfolio, the exhibition reactivates our cultural memory.

Lullabies for Bad Fate: Samson Young

Has the city you live in flooded? Does a new virus in your country threaten the lives of the people? Philanthropist pop singers come to the rescue – at least they were until recently. Released in the ‘80s and ‘90s to collect aid for disaster victims, still-popular charity songs such as “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, “We Are the World” and “Earth Song” are on multidisciplinary artist Samson Young’s radar. Putting together an exhibition called “Songs for a Disaster Relief” for the Hong Kong pavilion at the Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, Young examines the potential moral problems inherent in these songs. If you’re making a list of the biennale’s highlights but cannot decide which exhibition to visit, you can start by seeing Young’s works.

Sometimes it expresses pain, sometimes it expresses longing: Shye Ben Tzur

What would happen if you were to put Radiohead’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood, Indian band The Rajathan Express and Israeli musician Shye Ben Tzur in the Mehrangarh Fort in India for three weeks? The answer is Junun. The trio collective’s eponymous album recorded in the spring of 2015 strangely blends the music of the West and the East. Performing in many European cities this year, Shye Ben Tzur and The Rajathan Express will also visit Istanbul as part of Istanbul Jazz Film Festival organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. We talked to Shye Ben Tzur before his concert at Kundra, Beykoz on July 7.

Losing Things and Replacing Them: Carla Simón

Stories that seem simple at first are sometimes told so beautifully that you cannot put your finger on why it affects you so much. Written by Carla Simón and based on her own life, “Summer 1993” is one such movie. It’s about a 6-year-old Frida loses her mother and moves in with her uncle and his wife; that summer, Frida both tries to cope with her loss and to adapt to her new family. The movie received the Best Feature Film at Berlin Film Festival. We talked to the director who is as simple, sincere, sensitive and gentle as her movie about the confusion of being a kid and memories.

Uncensored and Brave – and A Little Arabesque: CANAN

CANAN is a brave and inspiring artist who has abandoned her last name to free herself form the chains of patriarchy, and strolled around the streets of Bomonti naked. For her, creativity is a therapy, a cure to help her heal. She doesn’t give a damn about anyone or doesn’t worry whether anyone would want to display them while making her works. She deals with issues such as gender politics, history and mythology for over 20 years, CANAN’s business with feminism doesn’t seem to have concluded. 

Out of Ordinary: Yaron Herman

A psychology, mathematics and philosophy enthusiast; the recipient of many prestigious awards including Choc Jazzman, Disque d’émoi Jazz Magazine and Victoires du Jazz; a man of adventure and experiment… How many pianists fit this description? We know at least one – Yaron Herman.